Worst episodes of the best TV shows
When '24,' 'Battlestar Galactica' 'ER,' 'Buffy,' and other series slipped up
Episode: "Stranger in a Strange Land" (Season 3, episode 9)
AKA: "The One With Jack's Tattoos"
As an hour of television, there's really no defending "Stranger in a Strange Land," whose flashbacks struggle mightily to answer a question no "Lost" fan had ever asked: Where did Jack get those tattoos? It features Jack at his most self-destructively obstinate and a half-interested guest performance from Bai Ling. It's terrible. But "Stranger in a Strange Land" is also one of a handful of the most important "Lost" episodes produced, because showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were in the middle of trying to convince ABC to set an end date for the series, and were able to point to this one as Exhibit A for why the "Lost" formula as it existed at that point couldn't continue much longer, much less indefinitely. ABC's executives reluctantly agreed, an end date was set, and "Lost" set off into much more interesting dramatic territory in a hurry.